Cylie Richards heads for home plate after hitting a grand slam in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader sweep. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Sweep Doubleheader vs. Saint Martin's
March 18, 2019
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University softball team got offensive on Sunday, recording 23 hits and scoring 21 runs in a doubleheader sweep over Saint Martin’s in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play at Viking Field.
The Vikings bounced back from a pair of losses on Saturday vs. Central Washington to sweep the games vs. SMU, 9-1 and 12-5, improving to 15-8 overall and 9-3 in conference play. WWU is now 6-2 in home games at Viking Field. Saint Martin’s dropped to 12-10 overall and 5-3 in GNAC play after sweeping Simon Fraser on Saturday.
“It was great to see the team bounce back and do what they normally do. Their goal today was just to learn from yesterday, stay together, and play their game. I think they did a great job of that,” said WWU head coach Sheryl Gilmore. “Today was a total team effort and they really had each other’s backs out there. It’s so fun to watch these seniors play free and let it fly for their last season of softball.”
Senior first baseman Emily Benson led the WWU offensive outburst, going 4-for-4 with 4 runs scored, 2 home runs, 5 RBI and three intentional walks combined in the doubleheader. Benson is now batting .443 (31-for-70) on the season with 21 runs scored, 8 home runs and 29 RBI. She hit her 38th and 39th career home runs, extending her WWU record and moving into a tie for 3rd in GNAC history.
Senior shortstop Cylie Richards was 3-for-6 with 4 runs scored vs. the Saints, with her first-inning grand slam in the opening game providing an early cushion in the 9-1 victory. The slam was the third of the season for the Vikings, tying for 2nd-most in the 27 years of program history.
In addition to the grand slam by Richards and pair of home runs by Benson, sophomore outfielder Lauren Lo hit the Vikings fourth and biggest home run of the day with a tie-breaking 3-run home run in the 5thinning of the 12-5 win in the second game of the doubleheader.
In addition to recording 23 hits and 21 runs, the Viking offense combined to go 12-for-24 (.500) with runners in scoring position and were 12-for-21 (.571) with two outs against the Saints. WWU is batting a GNAC-best .363 (82-for-226) with runners in scoring position this season and are 16-for-34 (.471) with the bases loaded.
Senior starting pitcher Makinlee Sellevold (Game 1) and Shearyna Labasan (Game 2) each recorded complete-game victories, combining for a 1.75 ERA (3 ER, 12.0 IP) on the day. Sellevold notched her GNAC-leading ninth win of the season and 53rd of her career to gain sole possession of 5th in GNAC history.
WWU will take next week off for final exams and returns to the diamond on Monday, March 25 with a GNAC doubleheader at Simon Fraser in Burnaby with games at 2 and 4 pm. The games vs. SFU begins a busy spring break for the Vikings that features nine games, including a non-conference doubleheader at Sonoma State (3/27) and five games in the Tournament of Champions in Turlock, California.
“We have some things to work on, but our goal is to continue to get better each time we step on the field,” added Gilmore. “The best is still ahead for this group.”
UP NEXT FOR THE VIKS
WWU (15-8, 9-3 GNAC) will take next week off for final exams for the winter quarter and returns to play on Monday, March 25 with a road GNAC doubleheader at Simon Fraser (2 & 4 pm). Both games will stream and feature live statistical updates on GNAC.tv.
-- WWU Softball --